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Thursday, January 5, 2017

2017 Goals

Word for the year: ABIDE--Jesus says I am the vine, you are the branches. Remain in me. Apart from me you can do nothing. Exploring what really abiding in Christ looks like in my daily life. Starting my day with him is habit, but continuing to abide as kids throw tantrums and that text message comes that invokes frustration, when my schedule doesn't go according to plan, and when it's 6 pm and all I want is to be alone. I need Jesus every minute of every hour, He has made that known. I want to abide in Him every minute of every hour. I will fail, but there is grace. 

1) Serve with Caleb at church (looks like we will be a marriage mentor couple in the premarriage class...will see how that goes!)
2) Seek and establish a relationship with a mentor 
3) Limit social media time to 20 mins/day, only at naps/nighttime (again--be present)
4) Serve with Carter (and/or other boys if able) atleast once this year
5) Invite people over for dinner once/month
6) Kon Mari my kitchen 

2016 in review

Word for the year-neighbor. Yes, front yard bounce house parties and fire pits and our first ever street Christmas party. We now have a little community with Sunday night get togethers and kids are friends and Dads are friends, thank you Jesus. This year would like to go a little deeper and also love on a specific neighbor/family.

1) Memorize a scripture verse every week.-Nope. I just am not great at Scripture Memory but did a Jen Wilkin study in the fall on Hebrews and will say I was probably in the Word last year more than I've ever been in my life. His Word really is my daily bread--and when I don't get it, I get grumpy and selfish.  
2) Sit down and do "school" with boys 3 days/week. -Nope. But I'm ok with this. I was so anxious about Carter starting Kinder with no formal "preschool" that last year and he is doing great. I now see that the boys have the rest of their lives to be in school. When we are little, we play--and last year was a lot of play and I don't regret it one bit. 
3) Become a front yard person. Choose to play in front yard instead of backyard atleast twice a week (this incorporates present and neighbor). Yes. We now are in front yard more than backyard. Mamas accumulate daily around 4:30 for our "let's just get through the day" time! 
4) Date night once a month (just the 2 of us--parties, etc don't count). Hmm...not sure on this one. We did go on dates but I would say we definitely dated at home a couple of times a month. We started a eat on China/open champagne dinner and put the kids in front of a movie thing this year and it's pretty glorious. 
5) I don't know how to make it measurable but this year I want to work on letting go. Be ok with not controlling everything. Letting go of the schedule to just be. Hmm....I would say check on this one, although it will be a work in progress. Especially during the birthday/holiday season--even Caleb noticed a change.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Brooks turns TWO!

Birthdays are a big deal in our family. You get pretty much whatever you want and everyone does their best to "encourage" the one having the birthday. It's especially meaningful for me, because as a Mama, I sit down and reflect on each of my boys as I see more and more of who God is making them to be. So, even though this blog doesn't carry a lot of weight anymore, it's a place for me to come on everyone's birthday and write them a little note....

My sweet B, B-bears, Brooksie boy:

You are my baby. You are the baby of the family and you own it. You love to be held...Daddy takes you places and insists that you are "walker baby" but you have this move where you will face me and grab onto my legs and you know I'm the weak link. I hold you. We are still pretty much attached at the hip and I love how you are still a Mama's boy. You love to go on "Bob rides" and prefer the stroller over walking most of the time. But don't get me do have energy and love to be active. You have started wrestling with Isaac and playing the nightly wrestling games with Daddy and your brothers. You laugh and laugh until you get hurt....then are quick to run to Mama for refuge. You are getting very tough and most of the time can take a good fall or hit without crying, where I later see blood or a big scrape and I'm like really dude? You didn't cry for that?

You LOVE trains and balls. I mean, LOVE them. Like can play trains at your train table for hours upon hours. Like will do anything it takes to get to a ball. You have a determined and focused energy that I'm seeing at 2 that will take you far in this world. You are pretty much go with the flow (as you've been all your life) and can easily play by yourself. You love to read books and you know that's Mama's soft you bring me book after book and we read. Oh, I hope it continues! Since Carter is in school you and Isaac are starting to become buddies and I love watching that bond form. We go to the gym most days and after I'm done we go to the big gym where there is a tub of balls. You get so excited every.single.time that you yell "ball! ball! ball!", run as fast as your little legs can, and pick out a very particular ball for you and for Mama and then the 3 of us play dodgeball against the mat. It's one of your favorite parts of the day. As far as eating, you sure do love your carbs. Fruit, bread, cheerios (and milk on a Bob ride is your breakfast of choice as we walk Carter to school!), pb&j "nee nish", crackers "ba ba", rice and beans are your favorites. You are not a meat or veggie fan, although you've learned the prize factor in our house, so you now will eat broccoli/cauliflower dipped in ketchup to get into the coin flip. You still love your bed and love to sleep. You are not a morning person and are Mr. Grumps most mornings so we let you eat your breakfast in peace. You go to bed about 7:30 at night and like to sleep in until 8 most mornings although I often wake you up around 7:30 to take Carter to school (and don't talk to you...just give you milk and "do dos" (cheerios) and set you in the stroller and 25 mins later when we return you are ready to talk to the world). You still have your morning rest time for about 30 mins most mornings then take a good 2-3 hour nap most afternoons. Our before nap/bed routine is my fave...I read you books facing out as you sit in your rocker. We both rock in our rockers and sing "Jesus loves me", then you turn on your sound machine and determine if you want to "rock" (with me and snuggle!) or go "nigh nigh" (me put you in your bed). I pray Joshua 1:9 over you, give you your chincha, you put that left thumb in your mouth and you never cry, never wake up at night. I may never move you out of the crib! This is such a perfect way to end the day....because as much fun and play as we have, I have to be honest that you are TWO. Man, you have a temper and a fireball personality that wants what you want if I tell you no you will 1) hit me (this is getting better) or 2) threaten to hit me (hence discipline from #1 is working) by putting your hand up and giving me a dirty look but not hitting or 3) spit at me or 4) find something/anything to throw. Whew. I do love that we are really working on a spirit of gratitude with your older brothers so you are learning to say thank you. You are not sure exactly when to say it, so when you know you're in trouble you will just look at me with those big brown eyes and say "thank you". Ha! Already learning I discipline you because I love you?

Oh, the days are long but the years are short. I look back and remember your birth day so vividly. It was only two years ago but we have fit so much into these two years. I feel like with you being the third child you get dragged a lot of places. You get woken up in the mornings and from naps, you get dragged to practices and performances, school meetings and games, and I know it will just get more and more. I don't feel bad for you though. I see your flexibility and go with the flow personality and have to believe part of it is because you've been forced to be adaptable since birth. You are definitely growing into your own little person. You have such focus and determination. You say hi to strangers and can walk into a group of 6 year old boys and think you fit right in, completely unaware of an age difference.   You have such a joy in the simple things. You laugh and smile so much of your day--oh that big gap tooth smile I adore! My word and prayer for you since you were in the womb has been joy. Lord, fill him with joy and may his joy continue to grow. Your teacher at school  (you go 1 day/week) Ms. Denise (nee neese) says you are the happiest boy in your class, always smiling. That's your joy buddy. I pray it will continue. That you will not just be happy, but even when you fail and when trouble comes the JOY of the Lord will be your strength. I pray over you most nights as we rock and snuggle and I pray specifically that you will come to love and know God will all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. That your joy will continue to grow. That you will love others well. That God will help me and your Daddy train you and point you to Jesus in all things, as Jesus is the only one we can promise you will always be with you. May angel armies be by your side as you grow and become more and more your own person. I sure do adore you at 2. Sometimes your tantrums and melt downs and complete neediness wears me down, but I am so grateful to be your Mama.  To have a front row seat as your discover your world, to find joy in the simple things, to discover your gifts that God gave you, and watch you become your own little person. Happy birthday buddy. Today is your day. We will play trains and balls, be outside and eat lots of cake. Tomorrow your family and friends come over and your celebration will continue. We love you and are so thankful for you.


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Isaac you are 3

My sweet sweet Isaac. Today you are 3. The mama in me always thinks back to that cold day when you were born, when the epidural only halfway worked and labor took forever. But then I held you. And Daddy got all teary looking at you. And all the pain went away and I knew right then you were special. You were so wanted and desired and you bring us such joy. 

You have the sweetest most compassionate heart. You are a servant, not willful but joyful to help.You get feelings and emotions--and you feel big. You hurt when others hurt. You squeal with giddiness and delight. You cry out when you do not get your way. You clench your teeth and push when others bother you. You are a go getter and don't let anything get in your way. You see boundaries as a challenge and welcome most challenges. 

Oh Isaac, you stretch me as a mama. You live in the moment and go at your own pace. You are rarely in a hurry and don't want to make plans, just live minute by minute. This is so my opposite but so what I desire to be. You find joy in order and structure and as long as something is explained or I acknowledge your feelings, you are generally okay with change. 

You crave milk and it soothes like no other. As I pour milk into your cup you lick your lips in anticipation and want to see inside the cup to make sure it is"big". You are so much a lover of life your body is constantly going and it takes a while for you to settle down. Although you need sleep, you have a hard time settling down to sleep. You feel like you are missing out so choose to play with Carter during naptime. Oh, how you adore your brother. You want to do what he does, have what he has, and call other 2 and 3 year olds "babies". I love hearing you boys play--you fight quite often but there is such a deep love and bond between you two that is amazing to watch. You are already protector of Brooks, wanting to make sure he is safe and following in your order. God knew what he was doing when he made you our middleman. 

Oh Isaac. So many nights I sit on the edge of your firetruck bed and stroke your long stringy hair (that Daddy and I argue over cutting constantly...currently Daddy is winning so when you see your pics and wonder why it's all Daddy!) and I pray my hopes and dreams over you. I pray you will know Jesus--not just know him but be so rooted and established that since He is your refuge you will never be shaken. That as your grow you will know more than anything else how much He loves you and has a purpose and plan for your life. I pray for your wife, that wherever she is Jesus is planting seeds in her life. Isaac, I pray you will know and experience how high and wide and deep is your Creators love for you. That He created your servants heart and strong willed nature and has such big plans for you and your generation. Oh, He is going to do a mighty work through you my son! You have such determination and passion and love at 3...what a gift he will grow and use. I pray it will flourish for His glory. 

And as it flourishes, I pray for me and your Daddy to know how to create boundaries and train you up in a way that grows your gifts. Today you are 3. So you will get as much as your chocolate Batman cake as you want. You get a joker house and Legos and a batman nightlight. You get to play with your cousins at nickelrama and eat pizza and more cake for dinner. Because we are not rushing you. I adore you at 3. Sometimes it's tough when you "can't fweep" and you slur your words because you are so tired...but I embrace you for you. I'm so so so thankful God entrusted me as your mama. I love you, my sweet precious "Izit mitil wood". 

Friday, January 1, 2016

2016 Goals

Word for the year-neighbor. Jesus says the greatest command is to love God and the 2nd is to love your neighbor as yourself. He has been tugging on my heart these last few months to be intentional as a literal neighbor. With these people that are literally right outside my door. Ok Jesus, take my hand and show me what neighboring looks like on Vista View Drive!

1) Memorize a scripture verse every week. 
2) Sit down and do "school" with boys 3 days/week. 
3) Become a front yard person. Choose to play in front yard instead of backyard atleast twice a week (this incorporates present and neighbor). 
4) Date night once a month (just the 2 of us--parties, etc don't count)
5) I don't know how to make it measurable but this year I want to work on letting go. Be ok with not controlling everything. Letting go of the schedule to just be. Hmm....

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 in review

My word this year: present. Pulled boys out of school in May and intentionally chose to be present and play vs send them away so I could do. It's been tough at times and I'm not always present...but I wouldn't change it. 

Run a half marathon-nope. Didn't happen. Although I would say I'm in good shape and stronger than I've ever been (that pulling kids out of school thing has given me lots of gym motivation with free childcare) so maybe that's a win?
Pre pregnancy weight-check!
Hands free--Hands free in car and rarely use speaker. This is a huge change as car used to be my chat time. Unfortunately relationships are suffering bc that is how I kept in touch with my out of town peeps but the benefits and safety are key. Hands free at home has been a roller coaster. Sometimes I am over my kids and escape to social media world for "connection".  
Quiet times during week-check. This has become a habit and again is how I survive my long days at home. Starting my mornings with quiet, cup of coffee, and Jesus is a game changer. That give us our daily bread stuff that Jesus talks about? Yeah, I really need it. 
De clutter house and spend less-nope. None. Amazon prime is my best and worst friend. This goal was too lofty! 

That was a quick review of goals, will write my 2016 word and goals within the week!

Friday, November 20, 2015


Psalm 100:5
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever, His faithfulness continues through all generations. 

Remembering this truth today. Such a simple song I learned as a little girl in preschool choir--God is so good. God is so good. God is so good, He's so good to me. 

I have to cling to this truth today. When I wake up to news of a terror hostage situation in Mali, which to many is just some African country but to me is where one of my best friends lives. When I show up to MOPS and a sweet sister pours out her story of abuse and kidnapping and hopelessness. When I get an email that a family member is struggling. And that is today. And it's easy to go along my merry way because Caleb took the older boys camping and I am having snuggle time with B and our life is "good". But God calls us to be the body. To encourage one another. So tonight I'm thankful that God is the same through all generations. That HE IS GOOD and present amidst the daddies and little boys giggling in a tent in Oklahoma. And HE IS GOOD and present in that Ramada hotel in Mali. And in the apartments where there is no heat and no hope. And He is so much bigger than this world. Jesus says in this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world (John 16:33). Thankful I trust in a God that is good. His faithfulness does continue through generations. So I will praise Him tonight, thanking him that He does have the whole world in his hands.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

To Brooks from Mama--today is your birthday

To my sweet baby boy on your first birthday,
I wonder today if you are my last baby. I mean, you will always be my baby boy, but will you always be the baby? Only God knows, and I know His plans are good and perfect. You are such a gift to us. God has such a purpose for your life and the past year has given me little glimpses into who God created you to be. 

At one...
You are full of joy. You are easy going. You are easily entertained. You adore your brothers. You love to be held. You are a Mamas boy. When you get tired you rub your little eyes and grab for your chincha, do a little purring noise and put your left thumb in your mouth. You do not like to snuggle when you are sleepy, you want to lay down with your chincha and your thumb and be left alone. You are very agile--you are in no hurry to walk, but will crawl very fast and pull up on everything but rarely fall. Your favorite places to play are my shower, the bathrooms/toilets in general, the gates on the stairs, and the plastic slide and kitchen in the play room. You are not a huge foodie. You will eat (and you do love some graham crackers) but you are very matter of fact about your food. You will eat if you're hungry, if not, it's no big deal. You really don't even cry for food. Sleep? You are the BEST one year old sleeper I know. You never had to cry it out. You sleep 12-13 hours a night and NEVER wake up. Poor baby--you will wake up with vomit encrusted sheets and hair but not cry. You wake up just cooing and babbling and standing up until someone comes and gets you. You rock sleep, just like your mama :). 

I remember one year ago today like it was yesterday. But then I try to remember all the moments in between and it's a blur. How is it already a blur? I remember taking  showers in the winter with you in the bouncy seat or the rock n play under the heater in the bathroom. I remember you going with us everywhere those first 3-4 months because I could rock your car seat and you would just sleep--you went to happy hours and dates and the movies. This summer you just wanted to be held, so I held you a lot. You still love to be held, and not in the "wearing" way. You just want to be held in my arms, and most of the time I hold you. I've learned to do a lot of things one handed--wash dishes, make dinner, fold clothes, pull up pants, etc. I actually do most things one handed because you and I are pretty inseparable. I will leave you at the gym for an hour or so and we get the occasional babysitter, but most of the time you just go where we go. Your brothers play and I hold you.  I hope that this go with the flow baby you are continues into toddlerhood, but only time will tell. 

I'm not trying to slow down time--I can't wait to watch your personality continue to develop as you learn to talk and walk and become your own little Brooks person. I just want to slowly savor each day and be present as God grows you into the person that HE created you to be. It's not my nature. I'm a do-er and a list checker so I will miss some things and I'm already giving myself grace for that. Brooksie, as your Mama I'm going to make a lot of mistakes. I'm going to fail you. But I hope that if I do one thing right it's point you to Jesus--the one that will always be with you, who will never fail you. As you grow, you and I will become more and more distant--and that's a good thing. I will let go, because you have to grow and learn and become independent. But today I'm savoring that you are ONE. That God gave me to you and you are still my little baby Brooks that wants me. So I will hold you. And kiss your little bald head. And inhale your sweet baby smell. And play peek a boo and knock down towers and smile that goofy smile so you will scrunch your nose and show me your big toothy (with a big gap!) grin. And I will pray over you as I put you in bed--and you know that when I pray Joshua 1:9 over you, you grab your chincha, and put your left thumb in your mouth, and get ready for your sound machine to turn on. Because that's what we do when you're one. And I savor it. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

July Fun